Sketching your network

I wanted to briefly introduce one of the programs that I recommend in my book to you in this post.  Network Notepad is an icon-based program designed to help you quickly sketch out a map of your computer network and how all of the components are connected.  With Network Notepad, it’s really a simple, three-step process:

  1. Click to select and place icons representing your router, firewall, computers, servers and other hardware.
  2. Right click to define properties of each item to display on the map, such as text title, IP address, and more.
  3. Click to draw lines between the objects, which of course represent the Ethernet connections between devices on your network.

Keep in mind that if the default icons aren’t enough for you, you can download more Cisco Systems icon sets free from the web site  and install them in Network Notepad using these directions.

Network notepad is really a custom application for the task of drawing network maps, and not surprisingly it has a proprietary file format that cannot easily be read by other graphics software.  However, you can install PDFCreator or similar software and quickly print the Network map you create to a Adobe PDF format, which is more universal.

Network notepad is available in both free and paid versions.  You can view both on the Network Notepad web site and determine which one is right for you.